Tag Archives: health insurance

121277693

MJ Insurance launches private insurance exchange

MJ Insurance, a leading property-casualty and employee benefits agency, has launched a private health care marketplace for businesses to give employers an unprecedented range of administrative flexibility and employee benefit options.

According to Accenture Research, nearly 20 percent of employees nationwide are expected to get their health insurance through a private exchange. Aetna, Cigna, Blue Cross Blue Shield Arizona and United Healthcare have partnered with the MJ Private Exchange along with a host of ancillary carriers.

With MJ’s private exchange, employers maintain a competitive advantage by offering best-in-industry benefits, while removing the heavy lifting of benefits administration. The exchange is an ideal solution for middle-market employers and employees alike. Key advantages of the exchange include:

· The ability to choose a defined contribution or a defined benefits plan
· A prepackaged set of medical and ancillary benefits for employers and their employees
· Support for Affordable Care Act record-keeping responsibilities
· Business data integration that enhances the benefit administration experience
· Flexible decision support tools that make employee choice easier

“This critically-needed program gives employers and employees the flexibility to design and choose a benefits plan that works for them,” said Michael H. Bill, CEO of MJ Insurance. “The MJ Private Exchange is truly a simple solution for employers which incorporates a cost control mechanism that gives them more control. It is a win-win for both employers and employees.”

Employers and employees will enjoy multiple options including flexible plans for specific needs, traditional co-pay plans, health savings accounts (HSAs), higher deductible and lower cost plans.

MJ Insurance specializes in a diverse selection of unique service lines including construction, energy, transportation, real estate, manufacturing, sororities and mining. MJ also offers complete employee benefit programs including major medical, group disability, group life and onsite employer clinics. MJ Insurance currently has clients in 16 countries and in every U.S. state.

121277693

Humana Transforms To Better Serve Employers

Arizona health insurance agents and employers will see a new Humana when they engage with the health and well-being company in 2014. Humana announced a transformed leadership, market development and sales structure with the intent of furthering the company’s commitment to partner with agents and employers to create healthier, more productive workforces.

“The health care environment is changing as are employer and employee needs. And as Humana’s role in the health care industry is changing, we are changing how we do business to align with what our customers need and want,” said Humana Employer Group Segment President Beth Bierbower. “Our team structure has evolved in this new environment to help employers realize the many business benefits of a healthier workforce.”

Humana has established closely coordinated teams to serve agents and employers in Arizona that will support the market with a new internal team structure.

The Arizona sales team will be led by Victoria Coley, Arizona and Nevada Market Vice President, who will focus exclusively on partnering with agents and employers, and delivering ongoing support, data-driven insights and coordinated service. Coley, an Arizona State University graduate, has been with Humana for 14 years and was previously in a sales and leadership role with the company. Jean Higginbotham has been promoted to the Arizona and Nevada Sales Director and will focus on selling and renewal strategy engaging with employer groups 2 to 300. Higginbotham has been with Humana for 12 years and previously served as Director of Account Management for Arizona, Nevada and Utah. Both Coley and Higginbotham will be based in Humana’s Phoenix office.

“As part of our transformation, we spent hours with our agent partners researching how to best meet their needs. As a result, we’re expanding our team structure and simplifying the Humana experience for agents and employers,” said Coley. “The team is an agent-specific multi-disciplinary team within Humana that is led and coordinated by a single point of contact for the agent and employer.”

Coley says that the new approach to the market allows Humana to work more closely with agents and employers to co-create health solutions, and then support both with data-driven analysis from Humana’s array of health and well-being assets.

The market development team, led by Jeremy Gaskill, Regional Market Development Vice President, will focus on strategic direction, health care provider engagement, brand management and integrated product offerings in Arizona.

“This new team will build and expand relationships with providers in each of our markets and will focus on offering new value added solutions to customers to expand our reach in the marketplace,” said Praveen Thadani, National Vice President, Humana Market Development.

“At Humana, we’re committed to changing the way agents, employers, health care providers and health companies interact to create better outcomes for individuals and employers,” said Rick Remmers, Vice President of Humana Group Sales. “We’ve transformed our sales and management structure to support our vision by concentrating our sales team into specific expertise channels, allowing us to focus on our audience segments and better position our resources.”

140007839

BCBSAZ, CPLC educate Arizonans about healthcare reform

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona (BCBSAZ) and Chicanos Por la Causa, Inc. (CPLC) announced a joint effort  to help educate Arizonans about the healthcare reform law. Together the organizations aim to reach those who likely haven’t had insurance in the past and may not understand how the law will benefit them.

With a combined 117 years in the Valley, BCBSAZ and CPLC have a long history and shared commitment to the community. In the days ahead, the organizations are teaming up to:
· Make bilingual healthcare reform advisors available.
· Host healthcare reform education events.
· Conduct shared media opportunities with Hispanic outlets.
· Identify ongoing education opportunities.

“Working with CPLC, we’ll serve Arizonans in every corner of the state by providing resources and tools needed to make smart decisions in a time when healthcare is changing greatly,” said Richard L. Boals, president and CEO for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona. “The open enrollment period gives Arizonans a chance to research their options and learn more about the value health insurance plays in keeping our communities healthy.”

“As one of Arizona’s largest social services organization, we are always looking for new opportunities to expand our service and support those who are historically underserved. Healthcare is a fundamental need and helping individuals understand how the Affordable Care Act impacts their lives and the best way to get coverage is our goal,” said Edmundo Hidalgo, CPLC President and CEO. Working with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, we have the opportunity not only to educate the community, but assist individuals in getting health insurance through local, personalized service.”

Healthcare reform open enrollment begins October 1 and runs through March 31, 2014. Within Arizona it is estimated that 480,000 people will be eligible for financial assistance. If a person is eligible for a subsidy, they must purchase their health insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, also known as the exchange. Health insurance plans can also be purchased directly through a broker or BCBSAZ.

More healthcare reform information can be found in English at azblue.com or in Spanish at salud.azblue.com. BCBSAZ representatives can be reached at (877) 874-9958.

child.hospital

UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation Offers Grants

The UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation (UHCCF) is seeking grant applications from families in need of financial assistance to help pay for their child’s health care treatments, services or equipment not covered, or not fully covered, by their commercial health insurance plan.

Qualifying families can receive up to $5,000 per grant to help pay for medical services and equipment such as physical, occupational and speech therapy, counseling services, surgeries, prescriptions, wheelchairs, orthotics, eyeglasses and hearing aids.

To be eligible for a grant, children must be 16 years of age or younger. Families must meet economic guidelines, reside in the United States and have a commercial health insurance plan. Grants are available for medical expenses families have incurred 60 days prior to the date of application as well as for ongoing and future medical needs. Parents or legal guardians may apply for grants at www.uhccf.org, and there is no application deadline. Organizations or private donors can make tax-deductible donations to UHCCF at www.uhccf.org. Donations are used for grants to help children and families in the region in which they are received.

“The UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation is dedicated to improving a child’s health and quality of life by making it easier to access needed medical-related services. The grants enable families to focus on their children’s health instead of worrying about how they’ll pay their medical bills,” said Jeri Jones, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of Arizona. “Eligible families are encouraged to apply online for a medical grant today and take advantage of this valuable resource.”

In 2012, more than 36 grants totaling more than $95,000 were awarded to families in Arizona. Nationwide, more than 1,300 grants, worth more than $4.1 million, were awarded for treatments associated with medical conditions such as cancer, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, diabetes, hearing loss, autism, cystic fibrosis, Down syndrome, ADHD and cerebral palsy. As successful fund-raising efforts continue to grow, UHCCF is hoping to help more children and families in 2013.

child.hospital

UnitedHealthcare Children's Foundation Offers Grants

The UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation (UHCCF) is seeking grant applications from families in need of financial assistance to help pay for their child’s health care treatments, services or equipment not covered, or not fully covered, by their commercial health insurance plan.

Qualifying families can receive up to $5,000 per grant to help pay for medical services and equipment such as physical, occupational and speech therapy, counseling services, surgeries, prescriptions, wheelchairs, orthotics, eyeglasses and hearing aids.

To be eligible for a grant, children must be 16 years of age or younger. Families must meet economic guidelines, reside in the United States and have a commercial health insurance plan. Grants are available for medical expenses families have incurred 60 days prior to the date of application as well as for ongoing and future medical needs. Parents or legal guardians may apply for grants at www.uhccf.org, and there is no application deadline. Organizations or private donors can make tax-deductible donations to UHCCF at www.uhccf.org. Donations are used for grants to help children and families in the region in which they are received.

“The UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation is dedicated to improving a child’s health and quality of life by making it easier to access needed medical-related services. The grants enable families to focus on their children’s health instead of worrying about how they’ll pay their medical bills,” said Jeri Jones, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of Arizona. “Eligible families are encouraged to apply online for a medical grant today and take advantage of this valuable resource.”

In 2012, more than 36 grants totaling more than $95,000 were awarded to families in Arizona. Nationwide, more than 1,300 grants, worth more than $4.1 million, were awarded for treatments associated with medical conditions such as cancer, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, diabetes, hearing loss, autism, cystic fibrosis, Down syndrome, ADHD and cerebral palsy. As successful fund-raising efforts continue to grow, UHCCF is hoping to help more children and families in 2013.

Brewer

Brewer postpones decision in insurance exchange

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is postponing when she’ll declare whether Arizona will create a state-run insurance exchange as part of implementing the federal health law that she opposes.

Brewer’s office disclosed the postponement on the hot-potato issue late Thursday after the federal Department of Health and Human Services extended until mid-December a deadline for states to make exchange declarations.

The deadline had been Friday, and that’s when Brewer had been planning to make her declaration.

“The governor remains committed to doing her due diligence about a decision of this importance, so she is hopeful that the federal government is going to provide the specific guidance and instruction we’ve been awaiting,” Brewer spokesman Matthew Benson said.

The exchange would serve as an online marketplace for consumers to purchase health coverage, which approximately 1.3 million people in Arizona lack.

An alternative to having the state create and run an exchange would be to step aside and allow the federal government to set up one for Arizona. Or she could propose a hybrid partnership between the two levels of government.

Business groups, hospitals and insurance companies have urged Brewer to create a state-run exchange, which would be subject to legislative approval. The Goldwater Institute and other conservatives say the state should not help implement the law.

Creation of an exchange would be subject to legislative approval, and a Republican legislative leader said earlier Thursday he didn’t know how such a proposal would fare.

Senate Majority Leader Andy Biggs, who will become Senate president in January, said some GOP lawmakers oppose creating an exchange, others are cautiously skeptical and others are open to the idea.

Biggs, who is among opponents of the health law and its exchange requirement, cited concerns about costs that would be imposed on the state.

Like the federal-state Medicaid program, “the feds really control it,” Biggs said.

House Minority Leader Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix, said it’d be best if the state runs the exchange as long as it is consumer-friendly.

“This is not a partisan issue at this point,” he said.

aetna - save money on insurance at Costco

Aetna Offers Individual Plans To Costco Members In Arizona

Aetna has announced it is now offering individual health insurance plans to Costco members in Arizona. The Costco Personal Health Insurance program, of which there are five plans to choose from, offers broad major medical benefits, an extensive network of doctors and hospitals, and a variety of helpful services, tools and information, tailored to meet the needs of Costco members.

In addition to Arizona, the Costco Personal Health Insurance program is also available to Costco members in Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia. Aetna plans to expand the program to other markets later this year.

“We recognize the importance of providing affordable health solutions that deliver value and convenience for individuals and families. We are proud to join with a respected retailer like Costco to provide health insurance options to their members in Arizona,” said Barbara DeMaio, head of Individual Business for Aetna.

The Costco Personal Insurance plan offers broad major medical benefits, dental options, an extensive network of doctors and hospitals, and a variety of helpful services, tools and information. Costco is providing one-of-a-kind value to its members through benefits like lower copays on prescriptions at Costco pharmacies. In addition, all plans include special features and lower monthly premiums negotiated only for Costco members.

According to John Conlon, Director of Insurance Services for Costco, the new program delivers the advantages Costco members have come to expect from the warehouse store chain. “There are a variety of plan types to choose from, each offering the right combination of quality, value, and special members-only benefits.”

Conlon points to lower copays at Costco pharmacies as one example of the exclusive benefits available to members. “The opportunity for Costco members to access lower cost pharmacy services at their local warehouse store is convenient and affordable, and speaks to Aetna’s commitment to making health care easier to use.”

For more information on the Costco Personal Health Insurance program, members can call 866-286-3155 or visit www.costcopersonalhealth.com.

Public Policy

Hispanic Chamber Takes On Key Issues

Matters of Public Policy

Hispanic chamber takes
on key issues

 

From immigration reform to healthcare affordability, the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is once again wading into the turbulent waters of public policy and its already tackling big issues. The chamber’s public policy committee became active again last September and its 25 members have been busy the past several months educating themselves on state and federal issues.

public_policy“As an arm of an organization that represents primarily small Hispanic businesses, the committee explores issues that affect chamber members on a daily basis and their ability to grow and thrive,” says Jessica Pacheco, committee chairwoman and chamber board member and treasurer. “Not all Hispanic small businesses view these issues the same. We have a lot of debate and dialogue.”

Immigration Reform
So far, the Hispanic chamber has let other chambers take the lead on immigration reform, but Pacheco says her committee has its opinions on one facet of this issue—penalties for employers who hire undocumented workers. The committee has no problem with employer sanctions as a concept but opposes them as a “stand-alone issue” outside the context of comprehensive immigration reform. In June, Gov. Janet Napolitano vetoed a House immigration bill that included employer penalties. Its membership favors comprehensive immigration reform and the Hispanic chamber prefers that Congress address this issue, Pacheco says. “I can’t imagine a more difficult business environment than with each state having its own immigration laws.”

Procurement Opportunities
This fall, the chamber plans to help Arizona launch a “disparity study” to demonstrate how the state awards contracts for goods and services. It wants small business to garner a more equitable share of state procurement dollars, possibly an additional 10 percent. The chamber teamed with a variety of organizations to raise funds to pay for the study. The U.S. Department of Transportation is expected to provide $450,000 and a like amount must be raised locally through a public-private partnership, according to Pacheco. The first meeting with local donors was slated for June 14.

Federal Estate Tax
“There is a misconception that the federal estate tax affects very wealthy Americans, but if you look at the structure of the tax, it really hurts small businesses, especially Hispanic small businesses where 90 percent of them are inherited by family,” Pacheco says. The chamber believes the tax should be eliminated and committee members are communicating with Arizona’s congressional delegation.

Healthcare Affordability
Every small business grapples with the cost of providing health insurance, Pacheco says. “We would like to see a reduction in the cost of health insurance plans offered in the small group market. We also want to increase the number of workers in small business that have health insurance.”

Tax Relief
AZ Business MagazineThe chamber supports tax relief for small business. It favors reduction in dividend and capital gains taxes and supports accelerated depreciation for equipment and software. “Software depreciation is critical because small businesses often have to purchase very expensive software for accounting and networking,” Pacheco says.

Access to Capital
The Small Business Administration provides considerable capital for small businesses and the chamber is keenly interested that the SBA continuing to receive adequate funding. “The SBA has been a great partner and we want to be sure our membership knows what is out there and available to them,” Pacheco says.

 

www.azhcc.com

 

Arizona Business Magazine Aug/Sept 2006

 

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